Lisbon is a city known for being friendly, down-to-earth, and artistic. It is also known for having a keen fashion sense, and locals commonly go out dressed to be seen, reflecting styles that are commonly a mix of street-smart and sophisticated. Although it may not be as popular as Paris’s or Milan’s, Lisbon’s fashion industry began developing in the 1980s and has spread worldwide, hitting the industry’s high-end scenes like Paris, London, and New York City’s Fashion Weeks. Here are a few names from the top of Lisbon’s fashion scene.
No stranger to Fashion Week, fashion publications, or international partnerships is Alexandra Moura, one of Lisbon’s hottest designers since early 2000s. She’s also someone who isn’t afraid to think outside of the box or stretch the limits of creativity, as her website very well shows. Fans can find her collection gracing the runway of ModaLisboa, Lisbon’s Fashion Week, which she has been doing since 2002 and will take place again this year between the October 5–8. Moura is also the wardrobe designer for one of Portugal’s top fado singers, Gisela João, and she was honored in 2015 with the Women Culture Creators Award. Alexandra has a studio in Príncipe Real, which has been opened since 2012.
There’s a good chance that most Avant-Garde fashion lovers have heard more than a thing or two about Fátima Lopes, who is possibly Lisbon’s most famous fashion designer. In 2016, she moved her shop, Loja Fátima Lopes, from boho-chic Bairro Alto to the city’s most high-end, fashion-forward neighborhood, Avenida da Liberdade. She makes regular appearances in Paris and was the first Portuguese fashion designer to appear in Paris Fashion Week back in 1998. One of her biggest claims to fame may have been in 2000, when she appeared on a runway wearing a diamond-and-gold-covered “One Million Dollar Bikini,” the most expensive bikini in the world at the time. In addition to clothing, Lopes has her own shoe line, perfume, and a modeling agency.
Manuel Alves and José Manuel Gonçalves
These two partners-in-design have been in Lisbon’s fashion scene since its entrance in the 1980s, and since then have made appearances around the world, including Brazil and the USA. They first opened a couple of stores together in trendy and artistic Bairro Alto in the mid-1980s and showed their first exhibition in 1985. This Avant-Garde duo has presented their collection at the Gaudi Showroom in Barcelona, and they have won awards such as Best Fashion Personality for styling company uniforms, like those for TAP Portugal, the country’s national airline. For a closer look, visit their studio in lower Bairro Alto.
Storytailors is the alias for two fashion designers, João Branco and Luis Sanchez, who named themselves after their fantasy-inspired line. Their line is actually used often in theatrical productions, but their shop in Chiado, located in an 18th-century building, is for the public to find their own storybook fashion ending. They even have a “Tailormade” customer service experience, where pieces are created specifically for each customer, based on the individual’s style, desire, and measurements.
Ana Salazar is a designer who has been described as Lisbon’s pioneer and “Portugal’s designer,” due to her long career and natural designs that sport a down-to-earth personality. Her first stores opened in the 1970s and involved importing and exporting designs between Lisbon and London (where she studied and gained her footing). Ana Salazar is also no stranger to international fashion, with shops in Tokyo, Paris, Milan, and NYC, and her clothing can be seen all over Lisbon at a few top fashion boutiques.
Another regular face to grace ModaLisboa is Dino Alves, a designer of both men’s and women’s fashion who often showcases his designs in commercial events and is known as the “enfant terrible” (or “terrible child”) in Portuguese fashion. He has participated in fashion events in different European cities, as well as in Brazil, and created a travel bag for Italy’s Segue, an accessory concept store. Dino Alves’s style is known as sexy and provocative and is influenced by his artistic background which includes an education in painting and photography.
Once again, Bairro Alto is a spot for major fashion spotting, and this time the clothing belongs to Filipe Faísca. Another big name in Portuguese designs, Filipe Faísca received a degree in Fashion Design in Lisbon in 1989, has become a regular at ModaLisboa, and was honored two Golden Globes as the Best Fashion Designer in Portugal in 2007 and 2015. His work can be seen worn by staffs in Lisbon’s trendiest hotels and restaurants.
Anyone into accessories shouldn’t leave Lisbon without sneaking a peak (or more in-depth perusing) at Luis Onofre‘s shop in Avenida da Liberdade. This is especially the place to go for stylish shoes, which are known for being as reliable and comfortable as they are beautiful, and some of the most famous women worldwide have been seen walking around in Luis Onofre’s shoes, such as socialite Paris Hilton, fado singer Ana Moura, and even previous First Lady Michelle Obama.